Congrats to Our Kettle Contest Winner! See you in Dallas

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Congratulations to Jim Cummings, the big winner of our Online Red Kettle contest!

Jim has won an expenses-paid trip to Dallas where he’ll be in the middle of all the Thanksgiving Day action straight from the seats of Cowboys Stadiums. That includes a rocking performance by Keith Urban during our Red Kettle Kickoff halftime show and a must-see match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and defending Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints.

Of all individual online red kettles, Jim’s raised the most money, receiving donations all the way from Hong Kong, UK and Germany. Thanks Jim, for your work in helping raise funds to support Salvation Army services for those in need!

The contest may be over, but we still need virtual bell ringers! You can start your own online red kettle by registering at www.onlineredkettle.org.

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Kickin’ Off This Year’s Red Kettle Campaign Is…

Monday, October 25, 2010

The wait is over! Our National Advisory Board Chair Charlotte Jones Anderson made the announcement on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this evening…

Three-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban has been named the featured performer for this year’s Salvation Army’s Kettle Kickoff! That means you get to watch him rock out during the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show on November 25 aired on FOX. (Read our official press release here)

But instead of watching from your couch, how would you like to catch all the action live at Cowboys Stadium?

As a part of the Kettle Kickoff promotion, fans will have an opportunity to win an expense-paid trip to the game to see Keith’s performance and watch Dallas take on last year’s Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints. Just signup to be an Online Red Kettle virtual bell ringer at www.onlineredkettle.org, and the fans who collect the most donations for people in need have a chance to win! You can checkout rules and details at www.onlineredkettle.org, but the contest has started and there’s no time to waste, so we’re including key info below as well.

May the best virtual bell ringer win!

Eligibilty: The Contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older, residing in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Employees, soldiers and officers affiliated with The Salvation Army and their family members are eligible to participate.

Contest Time Period: The Contest runs from October 25, 2010 through Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 12 noon ET.

How to Sign Up: Participants can sign up for individual Online Red Kettles on the Internet at www.onlineredkettle.org and following the directions provided.

Prize Package: The prize package includes:

* Two game tickets to the November 25, 2010, Thanksgiving Day game between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX

* Two field-level passes to the Keith Urban half-time performance

* One-night hotel stay for two persons at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center in Dallas in a single room with two queen-sized beds

* Two round-trip coach-class airline tickets from U.S. destinations (excluding U.S. territories and outlying areas) on a major commercial carrier, subject to seat availability

Winner: The participant whose individual Online Red Kettle has the highest monetary total of donations as of November 21, 2010 at 12 noon ET, will be declared the winner.

Tie-Breaker: In the event that more than one kettle has the exact same total, the person whose kettle was registered in the Online Red Kettle system first will be declared the winner.

Notification: The winner will be notified via the e-mail address they used to register their individual Online Red Kettle.

General Conditions: No purchase necessary.
Again, for more contest details please visit www.OnlineRedKettle.org or our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Tonight: Kettle Kickoff Talent Revealed!

Monday, October 25, 2010

We can hardly wait to announce who will be this year’s Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off musical talent!

Thankfully, we only have to wait just a little bit longer before the big surprise is revealed tonight, Monday Oct. 25, on ESPN’s Monday night football.

As in previous years, the chart-topping act will perform live during the nationally televised Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day halftime show.

Past Kettle Kick-Off celebrities have included Daughtry, the Jonas Brothers, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Toby Keith, and Destiny’s Child, among others.

So, who do you think will join their ranks in Kettle-Kick Off tradition?

Feel free to leave your guesses, and tune in to ESPN tonight to see if you’re right!

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NFL Announces Salvation Army as First to Own and Operate Youth Education Town

Friday, October 8, 2010

BIG NEWS!!!

Dallas Cowboys greats Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman announced that The Salvation Army will be the owner and operator of the newly announced Super Bowl XLV Youth Education Town (YET) in Arlington, TX.

The $2 million project will target homeless and at-risk youth in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, specifically those from neighborhoods that suffer from higher crime, drug, and gang activity levels.

The Salvation Army is honored to be a part of this initiative and have the opportunity to expand service to the community.

What exactly will the center have to offer? Everything from a fitness area and athletic fields to computer labs, music instruction, film and video production and more. Adult continuing education and drug prevention programs will also be offered, along with an expansion of The Salvation Army’s emergency financial assistance program, food pantry, and after-school programs. Learn more about NFL YETs here.

Officials say they even hope to finish it before the 2012 Super Bowl! Get more details at Dallas Morning News.

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Announcing our Next National Advisory Board Chairperson – Mrs. Charlotte Jones Anderson!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Salvation Army is proud to announce the new Chairman of our National Advisory Board (NAB) is Mrs. Charlotte Jones Anderson, the Executive Vice President of Brand Management/President of Charities for the Dallas Cowboys!

Mrs. Anderson will be the first-ever female chairperson of our NAB and will serve a three-year term beginning January 2011, following the term ending of our current chairman Rob Pace.

Pace told the Dallas Morning News, “[Anderson] had unanimous support – we all thought she was the exact right person for this responsibility.”

Read more of his thoughts, along with those of Salvation Army National Commander Israel Gaither, in the article here- Dallas Morning News: Cowboys exec Charlotte Jones Anderson will be new chairman of Salvation Army’s advisory board.

Serving as NAB Chairman is just the next chapter in Mrs. Anderson’s distinguished history of involvement with the Army. She has been a member of the NAB for the past 5 years, helped create a memorable kickoff to our annual Christmas Red Kettle campaigns for the last 13 years through her organization of the nationally televised Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game half-time show, and she also frequently participates in events at The Salvation Army’s Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children which provides affordable childcare for low-income families.

Having worked with the Dallas Cowboys for 21 years, Mrs. Anderson is one of the NFL’s most innovative and versatile executives. She guides the team in everything from stadium design to entertainment, merchandising, uniforms design, and philanthropy. It’s no wonder they lay claim to one of the most popular brands in sports! She also supervises the fortunes and travels of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – considered to be the most recognized and accomplished organization of its kind in the world.

The Salvation Army is confident that Mrs. Anderson’s support and experience with our organization, strong marketing background, and excellent vision displayed in guiding the Dallas Cowboys will help make her an excellent leader for our National Advisory Board!

Read our official press release HERE.

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NFL’s 2010 Season Kickoff and A Coach You Should Know

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tonight is the official NFL opening kickoff of the 2010 season. The New Orleans Saints will be going head to head with the Minnesota Vikings! Will you be watching?

There’s one man in particular who I wonder if he will be tuning in – Harold Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Name doesn’t ring a bell? I’d be surprised if you did recognize it. But ask Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem, and he’ll know who you’re talking about.

Before Meachem was a Super Bowl champion, a rising star at the University of Tennessee or even raising eyebrows at Booker T. Washington High School, he started his football career as a “Mabee Babie.” That is, during his elementary school years Meachem played football at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa. Harold Williams was his coach.

A lot of time and events have passed since Meachem ran the Mabee field as a 4th grade football hopeful, but he still calls his old coach every now and then wanting to know how the Mabee Mustangs are doing. A pro football player keeping tabs on his elementary-years team? I know, it sounds strange, but then again, you wouldn’t be so surprised if you knew Coach Williams.

Williams left a paid position at a private high school to volunteer at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center where he’s been coaching for 22 years now. It was a significant change going from a privileged, private high school to a community center in what was known as one of Tulsa’s “tougher” neighborhoods, but Williams’ relationship to his team has always more resembled that of a loving parent than merely a coach.

Many times when talking to me about his team, Williams equated the boys to family. “It was like I had 40 sons. When dads were missing, I had no problem stepping in,” he said. “[My team] always said, ‘Coach loves us.’ I’d say, ‘I hope you know me and like my face because I’m going to know you the rest of your life. I love you because you are.’ ”

Over the decades he’s poured much of himself into the boys who have passed in and out of the football program. Even when the predominantly black team was pelted with racial slurs from their competitors, Williams has taught his Mabee Mustangs the importance of good sportsmanship and following the rules. He’s scrounged up pads and bought out of his own pocket mouth guards for his entire team when they couldn’t afford the most basic football equipment. He’s thrown them pizza parties and planned field trips to local museums, again on his own dime. He’s taught them skills that have made them one of the most noticed and successful football programs in the area today and helped many go on to be notable college and professional players. (Including the Dallas Cowboys’ Felix Jones, Philadelphia Eagles’ Tony Brooks and his brother Reggie Brooks of the Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos’ Marcus Nash, NY Giants’ R.W. McQuarters and the list goes on…)

The lessons and example taught by Coach Williams are lifelong and life changing. His sacrifice has inspired many kids to reject the destructive temptations of the streets and spurred them on to reach their true potential, witnessed by many unknowing NFL and college football spectators.

So it’s not hard to see why Robert Meacham gives Williams a ring once in awhile or why other “Mabee Babies” drop by the Center to watch and assist with practices.

If you do catch the NFL kickoff tonight, enjoy the game and celebrate the official start of the season! But regardless of which team you’re rooting for, take a moment to appreciate the sacrifice of Salvation Army volunteer Harold Williams. Tonight’s game and many others would be a different story if it weren’t for his investment in young athletes.

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Athletes Emphasize Charitable Giving

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Washington Post reports that Washington, DC sports teams and athletes are increasingly focusing on charitable giving.

Staff writer Susan Kinzie says, “For reasons idealistic, self-serving or practical, athletes and teams are putting a greater emphasis on donating money, volunteering and helping local communities — with more commitment to providing real impact rather than just photo ops.”

As a DC resident, it’s nice to hear that my teams are giving back. Between the baseball, hockey, basketball and football teams, DC athletes are helping revitalize local neighborhoods, investing in cancer prevention, fighting hunger, supporting children’s education programs and addressing a load of other issues. With the unique voice and wide supporter base that comes with the territory, athletes have a great platform to get the message out on deserving causes and make lasting, positive impacts on communities and individuals.

I’ll admit though, sometimes I’m skeptical when I hear about big names pushing a cause. I wonder, do they really care about or have a genuine commitment to this issue they’re attaching themselves to? For me, sincerity is important.

What’s your take on athletes being active in philanthropy? Do you have a favorite athlete who’s an outspoken advocate for a charity or a cause? Does a sports/charity partnership make you more likely to support the members involved?

Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.
Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.

Since becoming a Salvation Army employee, I’m happy to say my skepticism has tempered after seeing athletes and teams from around the country give and serve generously through our organization in ways that have invaluably inspired and assisted those in need. Their collaboration with us has ranged from extended partnerships to isolated volunteer efforts. Some athletes have never been involved with the Army before, while others have actually been clients in our programs.

Maybe you root for some of the teams and players who have worked with us:

* Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys – He tutors students in ACT prep at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK and has served as a role model in other programs. He’s also pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Center. Why? He played football at North Mabee as a kid and personally knows what a great impact it has on the local community.

* Robert Meacham, New Orleans Saints – Young aspiring football players received personal tips on playing the game from this Super Bowl Champion during a summer sports camp at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa. Yep, Meacham also grew up playing ball at the center with Jones.

* Julius Erving, NBA Hall of Famer – The b-ball legend is an advocate for exercise and sportsmanship for youth in Atlanta, where he hit the basketball courts as a kid at The Salvation Army. One way he gives back is through his annual “Dr. J” Biddy Ball tournament hosted this year at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, with the help of other players including Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew and Duane Causwell.

* Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) – These players not only helped establish two mentoring programs through a $25,000 donation to the Omaha Salvation Army Kroc Center, the Nighthawks also serve as mentors themselves! And they’re holding their training camp at the Kroc Center where kids and the community will have the opportunity to see their role models in action.

* Indianapolis Colts – From hosting Christmas toy drives to a $25,000 donation equally shared by The Salvation Army and 4 other non-profits, the Colts are community-focused. On top of that, their Senior VP Tom Zupancic just joined our Advisory Board!

* Philadelphia Eagles – When disaster struck Haiti, the team wanted to help. Eagles guard and Haiti native Max Jean-Gilles, Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan and Eagles employees volunteered to help The Salvation Army and Numana pack nutritious meals for earthquake survivors.

* Dallas Cowboys – For 13, going on 14, years the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show marks the official launch of our Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. The annual campaign has raised more than $1 billion since the partnership began in 1997 and has helped the Army to serve 30 million people each year nationwide. Plus, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, opened the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children – a Salvation Army child care center for low-income families in Irving, TX. Mr. Jones is now an Emeritus member of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and his daughter and wife are active board members.

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Kids Score Big as Sports Role Models Team Up With Salvation Army

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you’ve ever played on a sports team or been involved in athletic activities, you understand what a positive role sports play in healthy physical, emotional, and social development. Plus, being active is fun!

Recreational activities are an important part of The Salvation Army’s mission in serving others and provide wonderful opportunities to support and build up youth and communities as a whole. With summer just around the corner, The Salvation Army and several professional sports role models have been busy making sure kids have a chance to get active and play! Here are just a few examples taking place right now across the country:

Tomorrow (June 12) in Durham, NC, NFL quarterback David Garrard will host his second annual Air It Out Football & Cheer Camp. Garrard’s foundation has enabled children from The Salvation Army to attend at no charge! In addition to Garrard, several NFL players and college cheerleaders will be personally facilitating the camp.

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones and The Salvation Army each pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK during an MVP Weekend camp for local children, which included a “Sound Mind, Sound Body” football camp for high school players. Participating campers even got personal playing tips from Jones, as well as New Orleans Saints wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Robert Meachem.

The United Football League (UFL) Nighthawks in Omaha, NE donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army Kroc Center to establish two mentoring programs for local children. Through the Mini-Hawk program, Nighthawk players will have the opportunity to mentor children ages 12 and under. Through a second program geared at older kids, teenagers will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Nighthawks team.

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Also, players from the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Commissioner David Stern kicked off the new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at The Salvation Army Los Angeles Red Shield Youth & Community Center. The Lakers played with and encouraged the kids at the opening event. The Center, newly furnished with books and computers, will provide a great place youth to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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NSAW Fact of the Day: Red Kettle Origin and Modern Traditions

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Did You Know…?

The Annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign began in 1891 when a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco set up a crab pot at Oakland Ferry Landing to collect money for the poor at Christmas. The campaign has since become one of the longest-running and most recognizable fundraising efforts in the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and throughout Europe.

Since 1997, The Salvation Army has launched the Annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign with a special halftime show performance at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. Previous performers have included Daughtry, Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Toby Keith and Jessica Simpson. During this time period, The Salvation Army has raised more than $1.5 billion from the red kettles to support service efforts in communities nationwide.

Hit rock band Daughtry performed for The Salvation Army’s 2009 Red Kettle Kick-Off half time show during the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game.

In honor of National Salvation Army Week, everyday we are posting one interesting fact on our blog and an event on our website demonstrating how Salvation Army’s across the country are celebrating. Click here for more information on the history of National Salvation Army Week.

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Calling All Football Fans

Sunday, January 17, 2010

At today’s play off game (1 p.m. EST) between the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles will be mobilized in support of The Salvation…

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